The following pdf documents are available on the Regia.org website.
Authenticity (AO) Regulations
Version 3.d - 2015
The intellectual property of this document is vested in Regia Anglorum. The whole or parts may be reproduced by paid-up members of the Society for onward transmission to other members of Regia Anglorum for use in the context of a set of regulations. Parts of it may be reproduced for the purposes of review or comment without permission, according to the Laws of Copyright.
1. An Introduction
This year’s AO Guide feels a long time in the making, having been kick started with the presentation at Islip in January 2014 and it is with some relief that for this year the process has finally come to an end. As always this document remains unfinished and far from what I’d hoped to achieve. Many things are still missing and others only mentioned briefly. To address these shortfalls it still remains my intention to publish another revised and expanded AO Guide for 2016.
Regia is always ambitious, especially when it comes to its aim of recreating 423 years of Saxon and Norman history more accurately than anyone else. Britain changed considerably during Regia’s period, 793-1215AD, both socially and materialistically. Fashions changed then, just as they do today, all be it at a slower pace, with high status clothing looking ‘old fashioned’ after 50 years or so. To make all this even vaguely manageable the 423 years that we re-enact has been broken into six periods. Please keep in mind it is not Regia’s intention that members need to attain six sets of kit. Every member should however own a set of generic kit, a set of clothing that can be used for all periods. I’d hope that over time members will also attain more period specific items which helps Regia to look and feel different when representing people from different times.
I would like to thank the many people who have helped create this document. This document has benefited from their diverse knowledge of fashion, warfare and everyday items and without their valuable contributions this document would never have been.
The big changes for this year are the inclusion of image plates for women and men for all six of Regia’s periods. Hopefully seeing images of the fashions and jewellery for each period will assisting members in making sense of the corresponding tables. The other change is the inclusion of ‘AO Special Mention’ boxes. These are mainly concerned with encouraging people to adopt more accurate kit and are not intended to be rulings.
I’ve also included a bit about two-handed spears. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me as I’ve been banging this particular drum for a number of years. My eventual aim is to see most warriors using one-handed spears and to see the numbers of two-handed spears reduced on the Regia battlefield to only a few a side, and then only in the hands of rich professional warriors. I do however appreciate that this will take many years to achieve.
As in previous years the AO Team is happy to discuss anything found in the AO Guide. If you think we’ve got something wrong, please do let us know.
I hope you find this document helpful.
1.2 How items become ‘Unacceptable’
Items are being continually researched and re-evaluated as new evidence comes to light. As it is Regia Anglorum’s wish to be the most authentic society recreating our period of interest, members need to accept that their kit will have to undergo periodic improvement. To assist in achieving Regia’s aim it is the AO Team’s intention to publish a revised AO Guide every December.
- Items will only ever move by one column in the Event Kit Guides each year. So for instance an item that is currently classed as ‘Optional’ could become classed as ‘Allowable’ next year and ‘Unacceptable’ the year after.
- Any item that is under consideration of being reclassified as ‘Unacceptable’ will always be put on 12 months’ notice for discussion and presentation by the membership. New rulings will never just happen at an event.
- Once an item is officially classed as ‘Unacceptable’ a process of removal will take place. In the first year reminders and warnings will be issued. In the second year final warnings and demands for the removal of the item will be given.
To Ban a Spoon!
A hypothetical example for reclassifying spoons as Unacceptable
Just to be clear we are not making spoons Unacceptable or even thinking about it!
Spoons are now Unacceptable and must not be used in Regia.
2. The Regulations
2.1 An Explanation of Terms
The following terms are used throughout this website:
Is hereafter referred to as ‘Regia’ or ‘the Society’ in this document.
Any occasion where members of Regia perform in front of the public or for the media is classed as an event. The same standard of Regia authenticity applies to all events.
This consists of those members of Regia that have been asked to help maintain the society’s high standards of authenticity. It includes the Authenticity Officer, Authenticity Deputies, Authenticity Assistants and Authenticity Specialists. Together they make and enforce Authenticity decisions.
The Authenticity Team works in co-ordination with those officerships that have a cross-over with authenticity such as Living History Co-ordinator, Master at Arms, Ecclesiastical Officer, Missiles Officer and Equestrian Officer as well as their deputies and assistants.
See main page English
The term English is preferred over that of Anglo-Saxon or Saxon as these latter terms fit better when describing the migration period whereas the term English was used in contemporary writings from the 10th century onwards. It is sometimes written as ‘Englisc’ which is the Old English way of writing the term, although it is still pronounced as the modern equivalent. Only English characters may use items labelled as ‘[E]’ in the Event Kit Guides.
See main page Vikings
The term Viking is used to include all those people from Denmark and Norway as well as those from Norse settled Scotland, Ireland and England. It also includes those people from Sweden and the rest of the Baltic area, although it is hoped that members would choose to avoid basing their kit on finds from these areas except for special events cleared by the AO first. Only Viking characters may use these items labelled as ‘[V]’ in the Event Kit Guides.
The term Norman is used for any European fashion items that were introduced into England after 1041AD. Items labelled as ‘[N]’ in the Event Kit Guides are not necessarily from Normandy and may be from other European sources such as Frisia or Germany.
Encouraged (Very Common)
These are the items that the Authenticity Team wants to encourage Regia Members to display. Items classed as Encouraged have either numerous provenances or come from well researched interpretations. You should aim to have the majority of your kit from this column.
Optional (Less Common)
These items are also well provenanced or researched but it is felt that they were less common in the period than those items classed as Encouraged. You should aim to only have some items of your kit from this column.
Allowable (Interpreted or Rare)
Items in this column are either authentic but not in this period, are rare being based on only one or two provenances, are based on dubious or contentious interpretations or are simply allowed to make our lives during events easier. Ideally you should have very little kit from this column. Items in the Allowable column are much more likely to be banned in the future than other items, although this is by no means a certainty. Those further qualified as ‘Restricted’ [R] in the event kit guides are usually culturally specific and certain criteria must be fulfilled before they can be used.
These items are not allowed to be used by members of Regia during the stated periods at events. Regia Members must not display any item classed as Unacceptable at an event. All modern clothing and equipment is considered Unacceptable by default.
Means that it is the user’s discretion as to whether an officers suggestion is followed or not.
Means that there is very little, or no, excuse or reason not to follow the officer's suggestion made. You may be questioned as to why you have not followed it.
Means that it is an obligatory Officer ruling. No excuses.
To have an item of kit that has been designated as RICH you must be wearing the appropriately corresponding kit. For example a RICH English man would have high quality embroidery whereas a RICH Viking would have silver armbands. The kinds of people who would be RICH in our period would be Thegns or above. Remember we cannot all portray the RICH and it is estimated that only a small minority of the population would have been in this category.
Portraying the POOR in our period is fraught with difficulty as we have very few contemporary references and so much needs to be inferred. Just like when portraying a RICH person a member who wishes to portray someone from the lower ranks of society should strive to keep their kit consistent. The POOR includes both the free and unfree and would have been a significant proportion of the population.
Generic kit (sometimes called basic kit) is a term applied to a generic set of clothing that is acceptable throughout Regia Anglorum’s periods of interest and for all the ethnic groupings that we portray. All members should have a set of generic kit available at every event.
There are some items that are allowed but only if certain other prerequisites are met. They are labelled [R] in the Event Kit Guides. Items can fall into this category for many reasons but the intention is to limit their number while still allowing a few examples within the society. Be warned these items run a higher than normal risk of being banned. Failure to adhere to the exact letter and intention of these rulings will mean that you will be asked to remove the said item from display.
To ensure the safety of combatants of the Regia field of battle the Master at Arms is allowed to modify Authenticity rules. A good example, is that all our weapons are blunt with a 2mm edge. Weapons and armour that are allowed under the "Battlefield Authentic" ruling should only be displayed on the Living History exhibit (the Wic) on the official Regia armoury.
2.2 The Code of Law
The following three extracts are taken from the ‘Code of Law’ version 6.
2. Aims and Objectives
vi. The HW shall elect an Authenticity Officer (AO)
3C. The Responsibilities of the Membership
2.3 Authenticity Provenance
Before an item can be used within Regia it must fulfil three criteria:
- It must be based on Evidence
- Evidence should be provided from archaeological finds, illustrations or writings of the period, ideally all three.
- It must have been intelligently Interpreted
- Some finds or illustrations are obvious in their usage, a sword for instance. Others are less so. For example the Viking furry hats, as seen in numerous books, are a classic example of a bad interpretation of a find.
- It must be used in Context
- The focus of Regia is to recreate people and items that are likely to have been found in Britain. Even if an item has been found and convincingly interpreted it does not mean that it can be used unless it can be argued that the character that is being portrayed could have had it. Portrayals need to be consistent, for instance a peasant would not wear a silver brooch and an English woman would not wear a hangerock. Geographical context is also important; a Varangian guardsman or a Rus trader is unlikely to be found in England, for example.
Events where “Unusual” characters could be expected will be announced well in advance – and even then only a limited number may be allowed, so check with the Authenticity Officer first. Please do not turn up and expect to portray someone away from the mainstream.
2.4 Contacting the Authenticity Team
It is the intention of the Authenticity Team to make themselves accessible to the membership. When at events members may discuss any authenticity issues with any attending member of the Authenticity Team. Alternatively you can ask questions by either:
- Posting your query on the ‘Regia Members’ Facebook group – please clearly mark the post as ‘Authenticity Query’ or tag one of the Authenticity Team in your comment.
- Posting on the Regia egroup – please clearly mark the subject line as ‘Authenticity Query’
- Sending an email to email@example.com
Questions will be answered as quickly as possible, but please bear in mind all the Authenticity Team are volunteers and have lives outside the sphere of Regia. Also note that it is not the job of the Authenticity Team to act as your personal researchers, particularly for obscure foreign items.
2.5 The Roles of the Authenticity Team
Authenticity Officer (AO)
The Authenticity Officer is elected for a three year term by the Witan. It is the responsibility of the AO to oversee and direct all matters of Authenticity within Regia and ensure policy is followed.
Deputies assist in the final decision making process on authenticity policy, and act on the AO’s behalf in his absence at an event. Deputies usually also have an area of expertise that they ‘head up’.
Assistants assist the AO in checking kit and equipment at events and help answer questions regarding the interpretation of the AO regs. They also get a say in forming authenticity policy. They can act on the AO’s behalf at an event in the absence of the AO or any Deputies.
Specialists assist the Authenticity Team with advice and expertise. They do not generally act directly with the membership, but are often happy to assist with information pertaining to their area of expertise.
2.6 Authenticity Checks
It is every Regia member’s personal responsibility to ensure that their own displayed kit and any kit lent by them adhere to these Authenticity Regulations. Additionally every member should actively help to ensure that all Regia members also comply with these Authenticity Regulations by advising fellow members if they are not doing so.
- At the start of each day at a Regia Event civilian members and the Wic will be visually checked by a member of the Authenticity Team and the Living History Co-ordinator or Deputy.
- Warriors will be checked at the morning battle practice and again before the afternoon battle.
- A check of the Wic will be made 20 minutes after the end of the battle practice and the afternoon battle to ensure that the warriors have got out of their fighting kit.
- Tours of the site will also be made during the day by members of the AO team.
If a member arrives on site after the morning checks, or else missed them for any other reason, then it is their responsibility to find a member of the Authenticity Team to check their kit. This also goes for opening up a tent for display to the public later in the day or starting a new craft display.
It is particularly important that warriors present themselves to a member of the Authenticity Team as early in the day as possible so as to be able to correct any unacceptable kit prior to the final pre battle check when they will have no time to do so. If you believe that someone is wearing something that is inappropriate for the show – please tell someone – at the time! Either approach the member directly, or ask the AO or one of his team. It may be that something new is being tried – or this individual has just not been seen yet. Dealing with it on the day is so much better than two weeks later.
It is inevitable with such a broad and often subjective topic as authenticity, that differences of opinion over interpretations or rulings may well arise, even amongst the Authenticity Deputies and Assistants. The Authenticity Kit Guide tables, at the back of this document, are provided to help make a standard by which all members can follow authenticity, knowing that the rulings presented there are fixed until such time as the regulations are.
It should be noted that whilst the Authenticity Officer actively encourages debate and welcomes reviews of new evidence from both his Authenticity Team and the wider membership, it is ultimately his responsibility to apply those rulings as the elected society officer.
In the event that a dispute over an item occurs, it is recommended that the member’s Group Leader, or another experienced group member, should be present to assist in the discussion.
Should a dispute occur over an item that is not covered by the regulations that item must be removed from display by the member. It may be re-presented after suitable modification or upon presentation of fresh evidence to the Authenticity Team in order for a new ruling to be made. The item may not be used at any events until a positive ruling is provided.
Temporary compromises or modifications of an item may be allowed for a set time period if judged appropriate by the Authenticity Officer or a Deputy. Such time periods will vary dependant on the item in question, such as by the end of an event, three months, next season etc. When a fighter takes to the field of combat, it may be decided that they may have to drop a rank in the warrior system until the problem is solved.
If a member feels he has been unfairly treated by an Authenticity Team member he should report this to his Group Leader, who in turn should raise the matter with the Authenticity Officer. It is recommended that this be done as a matter of urgency rather than be left until several days or weeks later.
2.8 Authenticity checks at local events
It is the responsibility of the local Group Leader to maintain Regia Anglorum’s high authenticity standards at events under their control. Accordingly, if an Authenticity Team member is not available, that Group Leader should ensure that a suitably experienced and competent member of the Society carries out an Authenticity check in accordance with these regulations. Competence in this instance can be defined as knowledge of the regulations and experience.
3. General Do’s and Don’ts
3.1 General rulings for all clothing
Clothing should be made from either wool or linen. The cloth should be either a plain tabby or twill weave and not checked or striped although cloth with the warp and weft of a different colour may be used. Printed fabrics should never be used. Colours must be from the spectrum available from natural dyestuffs known in the period.
Linen shirts and shifts should be made from either natural coloured or bleached white cloth. Other garments can be dyed. Generally available colours include madder red, weld yellow and woad blue. For green garments you need to ensure that you use a ‘yellow green’. ‘Blue green’ should be avoided as it would have been expensive and only available to the RICH.
All visible stitching must be hand-sewn using appropriate stitches, of which the running stitch is the easiest. Overlarge “Hollywood” stitches must be avoided. Visible stitching done on a sewing machine and any other marks of modern manufacture must be completely hidden. Hidden stitches and seams may be done on a sewing machine.
Modern garments worn underneath authentic clothing must not be visible, including socks, bra straps and T-shirts. The wearing of a mix of modern and authentic clothing, including modern earrings and make-up during a Regia event is strictly forbidden and will result in the member having to leave the display until resolved. All obviously modern or dyed hairstyles must be hidden or disguised. Obvious fake hairstyles and fake facial hair must not be used.
Each garment must be made out of the same cloth. For example, the arms of a tunic or dress should be made from the same cloth as the body. Some garments can have applied trims, and these may be of contrasting colour, and this will be noted in more detailed rulings. For the purposes of repair, garments may be patched in differing material but of a similar cloth type and quality. Similarly, inserts of different cloths may be used to expand the clothes of growing children.
In general, all garments would have been treated with care. Fraying or loose seams and hems must be repaired as soon as possible and holes must be appropriately patched. Clothing that is patched and repaired, even worn is fine, neglected clothing is not. No garment will be allowed onto a Regia display if its overall condition is deemed to be substandard.
Braids are used both for belts and for decorating garments. Good types of braid for Regia’s period are tablet weave and finger braids. Inkle braid is Unacceptable. Braids may be of wool, silk or linen. If wool is used care should be taken to use a fine 2 ply yarn, although 3 ply yarn is still Allowable. Chunky wool must not be used and is classed as Unacceptable.
3.2 Items that are always ‘Unacceptable’
The following list summarises authenticity points that members of Regia Anglorum should never do.
3.3 Some Sewing Terms
This is where a reinforcing strip of cloth is wrapped over the raw edge of the neck hole or cuffs. It is usually of the same material and colour as the tunic or shirt. Although we use the term bias edge, the cloth used does not need to be cut on the bias (diagonal). A strip 5cm (2”) wide is usually sufficient.
This is where an additional reinforcing strip of cloth is sewn onto an edge of a piece of clothing around the neck hole and cuffs. The strip is usually of the same material on shirts but can be of a contrasting colour on tunics. Facings can only be up to 8cm (3”) wide before 1042AD. After this wider facings may be used.
For women, only the RICH can have a facing around the hem of their dress before 1042AD (Very Early and Early periods). After 1042AD faced hems are Optional for all classes.
For men, facings around the hem of the tunic are classed as Unacceptable before 1042AD. As for women, they are considered Optional after 1042AD. Members portraying Carolingian or Frisian women or men have the option of having a facing around their hem before 1042AD as it appears that faced hems were originally a mainland European fashion.
The two most simple hem stiches are the hem stich and running stich. Hems should always be turned in towards the body. The hem stitch is largely invisible from the outside of the garment and so modern cotton thread can be used. The running stich is more visible and so an authentic linen or fine woollen thread needs to be used.
French seams are achieved by first sewing a seam, on what will be the outside of the garment, and then turning the garment inside out and sewing another seam to cover the first.
Piled wool / Rogg
Also known as a woollen shaggy piled cloak or rug and similar to a modern flokati. A woollen cloth with tuffs of unspun wool either pulled or woven through it.
Plain tabby and twill weaves are the most common cloth in Regia’s period. Other optional weaves are broken diamond and herringbone.